Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By ChampChump
#1771075
Crash one wrote:I remember a small female sitting on a cushion of lead shot in a glider to improve the weight and balance, these were available from the clubhouse in various weights.


I had to put a flat(ish) lump of lead on the glider seat, with a softer cushion on top. The only thing securing it was me. :?
By Lefty
#1771082
A couple of thoughts.
You have just two things to consider.
1) will the way you “install” the seat / booster, fully protect the child in the same way as it would in a car?

2) Are you 200% certain that your “installation” method can never impede the aircraft controls?

For example, with a smaller child, the standard A/c seatbelt may not properly restrain the child (in an accident) - or the diagonal strap may be incorrectly positioned and may cause injury (in an accident). Until the child reaches a certain physical size, it is often preferable to use the full car seat with its full four / five way harness. You of course have to ensure that the child’s seat is securely attached to the aircraft seat. When I did this, I found it difficult to get enough tension / rigidity using just the aircraft’s standard lap strap and inertial reel shoulder strap. A quick trip to Halford’s sourced a couple of tension luggage straps, which, with a bit of thought, could be used to strap the car seat into the aircraft seat, in a way that I felt would not move under any conceivable accident scenario.

As in a car, the safest way to carry toddlers and small children is in the back - and facing backwards. From age approx 5-11 depending on size, you can use either a full or a height booster seat (but remember to consider what the diagonal strap would do in an accident).

There are no rules or guidelines. It is entirely up you to take whatever steps you think will best protect your child / children in the unfortunate event of an accident. My son first flew with me at age 3 months - on a flight from the UK to Corsica. He continued to fly with me Dozens of times per year right up to age 30 (when university and other temptations took priority).
By AlanC
#1771083
MattL wrote:Ps don’t forget to give weight and balance a good check if you’ve got unusual mixes like a parent and kid/seat in back but no one up front


But many bonus points if you still manage to a) get airborne b) land successfully like this.

PS see you on the CRI :wink:
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By riverrock
#1771086
Booster cushions without the high back certified for kids above 15kg (group 2) are still fine. https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules and many are still on sale https://www.argos.co.uk/browse/baby-and ... s/c:29054/ .
However under 15kg (group 1 ) you need high back and built in harness ( so price goes up) for cars.

Rear facing isn't comfy for kids once their legs hang out beyond the fitted seat - but more importantly, how will be able to act as the human autopilot if they face away from the controls?
By flyingearly
#1771112
Lefty wrote:A couple of thoughts.
You have just two things to consider.
1) will the way you “install” the seat / booster, fully protect the child in the same way as it would in a car?

2) Are you 200% certain that your “installation” method can never impede the aircraft controls?

For example, with a smaller child, the standard A/c seatbelt may not properly restrain the child (in an accident) - or the diagonal strap may be incorrectly positioned and may cause injury (in an accident). Until the child reaches a certain physical size, it is often preferable to use the full car seat with its full four / five way harness. You of course have to ensure that the child’s seat is securely attached to the aircraft seat. When I did this, I found it difficult to get enough tension / rigidity using just the aircraft’s standard lap strap and inertial reel shoulder strap. A quick trip to Halford’s sourced a couple of tension luggage straps, which, with a bit of thought, could be used to strap the car seat into the aircraft seat, in a way that I felt would not move under any conceivable accident scenario.

As in a car, the safest way to carry toddlers and small children is in the back - and facing backwards. From age approx 5-11 depending on size, you can use either a full or a height booster seat (but remember to consider what the diagonal strap would do in an accident).

There are no rules or guidelines. It is entirely up you to take whatever steps you think will best protect your child / children in the unfortunate event of an accident. My son first flew with me at age 3 months - on a flight from the UK to Corsica. He continued to fly with me Dozens of times per year right up to age 30 (when university and other temptations took priority).


Thanks for all your advice. Drifting off topic slightly, but when you first took your family flying, did you feel an added sense of pressure, or even....fear? I must admit I was additionally vigilant and a bit nervous yesterday.

Part of it is that I remember watching (I think it was) an AOPA air safety video on YouTube where they interviewed a seaplane pilot whose son was killed in an accident where the dad was flying.

Of course, I'm always vigilant, but just wondered whether others felt the same when carrying their kids or family - and whether this feeling of heightened focus fades over time! It was certainly nothing that would cause any real worries, but the flight wasn't as relaxing (even though my passenger behaved impeccably - much better than he ever does at home!)
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By kanga
#1771118
PeteSpencer wrote:I'm sure I read somewhere that simple boosters (in cars) were either not recommended any more or were even illegal because they don't afford any head /neck protection from side forces...


as we've discovered with grandchildren visiting from overseas: children's car seats are certainly more elaborate now, as are the laws/regulations in different countries surrounding their construction and use, than they were when our children were small; and much more expensive! But they are now much easier to instal securely into international standard anchors in modern cars, and, I'm sure, now much safer.

However, I'd heard that the more elaborate bits beside child's head which are now mandatory was to protect child in the event of side impacts, eg from another car failing to stop at side road. If that happens in an aircraft in the air, I suggest that there may be bigger problems .. :roll:
By Lefty
#1771143
@flyingearly
Obviously yes. Any parent (sorry most parents) are naturally more cautious when they have their kids with them. Be it in a car, on a boat or an a/c. This manifested itself by being more cautious about low flying - you tend to fly as high as possible. Trying to find the shortest sea crossings, not flying in bad weather etc.

I started by doing a couple of short flights to get them accustomed to the noise an turbulence in a scenario when you could get them back on the ground quickly if they felt uncomfortable. You really want avoid them feeling uncomfortable- or more especially that YOU are pushing them into something that they perhaps don’t like.

Whenever I carry kids under about 11-12 yoa, I insist that there is either an adult or a teenager in the aircraft whose role is to take care of the youngster. If at all possible, you should try to avoid a situation where you are alone in the a/c with a child, such if the child becomes unwell, or simply starts to act up or throw a tantrum, that you are left trying to manage the child whilst also flying the a/c. You don’t need that distraction. Obviously (before people start jumping in to state the b.. obvious). If you only have a two seat a/c, then your options are much more limited. In which case, I’d suggest not taking them for anything more than a short bimble until they are old enough to not become a dangerous distraction.
By flyingearly
#1771150
Lefty wrote:@flyingearly
Obviously yes. Any parent (sorry most parents) are naturally more cautious when they have their kids with them. Be it in a car, on a boat or an a/c. This manifested itself by being more cautious about low flying - you tend to fly as high as possible. Trying to find the shortest sea crossings, not flying in bad weather etc.

I started by doing a couple of short flights to get them accustomed to the noise an turbulence in a scenario when you could get them back on the ground quickly if they felt uncomfortable. You really want avoid them feeling uncomfortable- or more especially that YOU are pushing them into something that they perhaps don’t like.

Whenever I carry kids under about 11-12 yoa, I insist that there is either an adult or a teenager in the aircraft whose role is to take care of the youngster. If at all possible, you should try to avoid a situation where you are alone in the a/c with a child, such if the child becomes unwell, or simply starts to act up or throw a tantrum, that you are left trying to manage the child whilst also flying the a/c. You don’t need that distraction. Obviously (before people start jumping in to state the b.. obvious). If you only have a two seat a/c, then your options are much more limited. In which case, I’d suggest not taking them for anything more than a short bimble until they are old enough to not become a dangerous distraction.


Thanks - all good advice. I took my 6 year old up yesterday and I think he enjoyed it at first, but I wasn't sure by the end and I was a bit worried I might have put him off.

I'd planned a 40 minute loop from Headcorn west, then over our house (wave at the others) and back, but it wound up being just over an hour and was quite lumpy. His initial chattiness was replaced with going very quiet and he said he felt a bit sick at the end once I'd got it back on the ground. To be fair, it was quite thermic, although he has said he wants to go up again.

I promised to take his sister up next, so will probably try and shorter flight with her and might give her some of that sturgeon travel tablet stuff beforehand as a precaution.

I think part of the problem was in the C42 he couldn't see over the panel so had quite limited visibility, only out the side, so that might have made him a bit queasy too (not being able to see the horizon easily).

It's weird but my vision for taking up flying was always that I wanted to end up with an RV10 and had great visions of flying my whole family for weekends away in the Lake District or Cornwall etc, but so many people I've spoken to have said that their kids just find it boring and show no interest in flying at all! Lots of 4 seaters flying with 2 empty seats at the back!

The big test will be my wife, who I have yet to take up - I really do need to do my best to give her an enjoyable flight so she buys into the idea that buying our own aircraft is a good idea... any tips?
By riverrock
#1771156
kanga wrote:However, I'd heard that the more elaborate bits beside child's head which are now mandatory was to protect child in the event of side impacts, eg from another car failing to stop at side road. If that happens in an aircraft in the air, I suggest that there may be bigger problems .. :roll:

There are two standards that a child car seat can be certified against in Europe. ECE R44/04 is the older standard and doesn't include side impact testing. ECE R129 (i-Size) is the newer standard and includes side impact testing. Both standards are allowed - there is no timeline for the older standard being removed.

I understand that the newer standard came out because child seat manufacturers had started providing side impact protection but were calling it different things, so came together to organise the new standard in Europe, branded i-Size. i-Size requires IsoFix mounts - I don't know any aircraft with those!
https://incarsafetycentre.co.uk/safety- ... egulations (this page has some bias against the old standard)

Lots of seats that met the older standard would also have met the newer one but the manufacturers decided to re-brand and not re-certify them, charging more. So if you go looking (as I was doing recently :flower: ) you can get the same seat for less money on the older standard which is just as safe.

Specifically on "booster cushions" - new models after 2017 can only be created for "Group 3" but old models are still legal. See https://www.childcarseats.org.uk/types-of-seat/
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By defcribed
#1771179
flyingearly wrote:The big test will be my wife, who I have yet to take up - I really do need to do my best to give her an enjoyable flight so she buys into the idea that buying our own aircraft is a good idea... any tips?


There are two really, really important points here.

1. Don't run the risk of anything even remotely concerning happen on the first few flights or you'll put her off for ever. Pick your day carefully, no iffy weather. Remember that if she turns against the idea then she may not want you to even take the children in future, let alone her.

2. Make it a trip worth going on such that it's an enjoyable day out in it's own right, one which isn't all about the flying. Many people interpret the first point above, which is really rather obvious, to mean that your first/early trips should be short hops to friendly little airfields that you're familiar with. The trouble is, if you descend on one of the usual watering holes on a Saturday morning with her in tow then what you're really showing her is that flying is about middle-aged men eating cooked breakfasts and geeking out over navigation software. Unless she's an unusual sort, this isn't normally much of a sell. A great idea is to fly to a seaside airfield then leave the airfield (shock, horror) and go for a nice long walk, perhaps with a picnic.

Much of the 'go somewhere you know well' mentality is rooted in the fact that back in the day if you planned a mission to somewhere you'd never been before then, with only dead reckoning and perhaps some radio navigation, there was no guarantee you'd actually be able to find the airfield without some considerable faffing, especially if the destination was on the smaller and less conspicuous end of the scale. New and perhaps nervous passengers are understandably averse to aerial faffing, especially if the words 'uncertain of position' are muttered. These days, with GPS ubiquitous, the matter of finding your destination is trivial so go somewhere worth going to.

Unless she's really into flying for it's own sake, ultimately you need to show her that the aeroplane is a tool for accessing nice days out and weekends away. You start with flight to the seaside for a walk/picnic or whatever, then you build up to perhaps a night away together in a nice city (Cambridge? York?), then pretty soon you're doing a weekend in Jersey or something like that. All stuff that gets her thinking "this is damn cool...." She isn't going to think that yet another cooked breakfast in a portakabin clubhouse is cool.

Covid is restricting much of this, but you can still do a walk with a picnic.
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1771259
defcribed wrote:Much of the 'go somewhere you know well' mentality is rooted in the fact that back in the day if you planned a mission to somewhere you'd never been before then, with only dead reckoning and perhaps some radio navigation, there was no guarantee you'd actually be able to find the airfield without some considerable faffing, especially if the destination was on the smaller and less conspicuous end of the scale. New and perhaps nervous passengers are understandably averse to aerial faffing, especially if the words 'uncertain of position' are muttered. These days, with GPS ubiquitous, the matter of finding your destination is trivial so go somewhere worth going to.


Not by any means just that. If you go somewhere new where you don't know the procedures, don't have intimate knowledge of the noise abatement areas or perhaps even local customs, you may end up being shouted at/berated by someone, and that's not going to be a good start to your passenger having confidence in you.

It's surely much better to go somewhere you know, and they know you?
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By defcribed
#1771279
Paul_Sengupta wrote:If you go somewhere new where you don't know the procedures, don't have intimate knowledge of the noise abatement areas or perhaps even local customs, you may end up being shouted at/berated by someone, and that's not going to be a good start to your passenger having confidence in you?


Which, unfortunately, says much about the general aviation environment in this country. It's a pretty defensive, submissive attitude that thinks "must go somewhere I know, don't want to get shouted at".

That said, what you describe is much more likely at the various watering holes (very friendly, great cafe - always the description) where a strong 'local' bent exists and some self-important type in big epaulets will expect you to show him due respect. Go somewhere worth going to for a day out (Shoreham, Lee-on-Solent or Newquay are ideas) and much of the 'local' rubbish is removed - you're just a customer at an airport and no-one cares how tightly-flown your OHJ was.

If you can find somewhere nice to take her that you happen to be familiar with then so much the better, but none of the above present any serious challenge and in any case you can always read up on the procedures.

I don't know about you but anyone who shouts at or berates me at an aerodrome will just see the back of my head as I walk away, regardless of what heinous transgression they may think I've committed. I don't know what it is about aviation in particular that makes businesses think they have a right to discipline their customers.
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By TheFarmer
#1771346
It’s a sad (but true) fact that lots of airfields are overseen by some pretty aggressive and self-important chaps.

The big test will be my wife, who I have yet to take up - I really do need to do my best to give her an enjoyable flight so she buys into the idea that buying our own aircraft is a good idea... any tips?


If she won’t let you buy the aircraft you want, simply get a new wife.
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By Paul_Sengupta
#1771405
defcribed wrote:Which, unfortunately, says much about the general aviation environment in this country.


No argument from me there.

You mention Shoreham. I believe a lot of people have been shouted at there for not wearing a high viz jacket, even when it's a clear sunny day.